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The Best Speech to Text Apps on Mac You Might Miss [Free & No Download]

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Sep 02, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

Do you struggle to meet deadlines for your text assignments? If you do, then you are in luck. Speech recognition technology is the best way to beat this challenge. Whether you are a student or a corporate professional, several speech-to-text apps can be used to guarantee that you meet your deadlines. For example, Mac owners can use dragon for Mac to complete typing assignments in half the time.

Below are the best speech-to-text apps on Mac you might have missed since the beginning of 2022. Some of the apps in the list are in-built into your device, while others may require you to download additional software. Regardless, all of those listed below are free to use on your Mac device. Keep reading to find out more.

In this article
  1. Part1: Top 1 Built-in Mac Dictation Feature.
  2. Part2: Top 2 Microsoft Word [Free & No Download]
  3. Part3: Top 3 Google docs
  4. Part4: Top 4 Filmora
  5. Part5: Top 5 Dragon for Mac
  6. Part6: FAQs

Part1: Top 1 Built-in Mac Dictation Feature.

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Did you know your Mac device comes with a built-in speech-to-text feature? So whether you use a laptop or desktop, you can generate text from your voice through your device's microphone. Officially known as Dictation, the app allows you to transcribe text anywhere you can type it. So, for example, you can use Apple Dictation for your messaging and word processing apps.

The feature has been available since macOS Sierra as a free built-in feature. Earlier versions of Apple Dictation relied on its voice recognition software. However, it now relies on Siri for users of macOS Catalina onwards.

Typically, the app allows you to transcribe thirty seconds and below of audio. However, you can enable Enhanced dictation for longer transcription times. According to most users, the app is suitable for getting the first draft of your assignment, which you can manually edit later.

Follow these steps to enable Apple Dictation on your Mac:

  1. Tap the Apple logo on the top-left toolbar of your screen and select System Preferences from the resulting menu.
  2. Click on the Keyboard option from the system preferences screen.
  3. Once there, click on the Dictation option located at the top of the menu.
  4. Select On to activate the app in its default mode. In addition, you can check the Use Enhanced Dictation box to enable additional functions such as offline use and text commands like bold and italics.
  5. Finally, select your language from the dropdown menu and choose a shortcut key.

Please note that you need to speak your punctuation loudly when using Apple Dictation. Otherwise, the app will consider them as regular words.

Part2: Top 2 Microsoft Word [Free & No Download]

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Another option to consider is speech-to-text Microsoft Word Mac. The app is free to use and relies on Microsoft Azure Speech Services to transcribe text. Below are the requirements to use speech-to-text word mac.

  • An external microphone for your Mac desktop, or you can use your built-in microphone for your MacBook. This is because speech-to-text on Microsoft word mac only allows input with a microphone rather than an audio file upload.
  • An active Office 365 subscription. Please note you need to log in to your account for the app to function.
  • Insider builds 16.32 (19120802) and above.
  • An active internet connection.

Once you have everything set up, follow these steps to use speech-to-text on Word.

  1. Launch Microsoft Word from your desktop.
  2. Click on the Dictate button from the top menu of your Word document, and wait for the red dot to appear. The button features a microphone for easy identification.
  3. Once the dot appears, start speaking to transcribe your text. Ensure you are in a quiet environment for the best results. In addition, speak louder when transcribing punctuations.
  4. Click on the Dictate button to finish the transcription.

Part3: Top 3 Google docs

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Google Docs is arguably the market's most accurate free speech-to-text service. In addition, it allows you to transcribe your voice to text and format documents with your voice. However, you can only use the service through the Chrome browser.

Follow these steps to activate Google Docs voice typing on your Mac device:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser on your macOS and select Docs from the app menu. Please note you will need an active Google account to use the service.
  2. Open a new document and click on the Tools tab from the top menu.
  3. Select Voice Typing from the menu to access speech-to-text on Google Docs.
  4. Tap the microphone to start transcribing, and tap it again to finish.

Google Docs speech-to-text is available in 71 languages. In addition, it supports simple commands such as 'create a bulleted list,' which are unavailable on other speech-to-text apps. As such, it is one of the market's most popular voice typing apps.

Part4: Top 4 Filmora

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Adding subtitles to your videos can be incredibly time-consuming if you do not have the right tools. However, with Filmora's speech-to-text function, you can add subtitles to your video with a single click. In addition, it automatically recognizes audio in your videos and transcribes it to text with incredible accuracy. The plugin uses state-of-the-art algorithms to ensure the video industry's most accurate speech technology.

Furthermore, you can import external files to your video's timeline and edit them as you please. For example, you can import a video from your thumb drive and use the Filmora speech-to-text plugin to transcribe to text. Currently, the plugin can transcribe the text in 26 languages. As such, it is a favorite for vloggers, teachers, and film editors, who all have to deliver their content with great efficiency.

Please note that you must have Filmora installed on your Mac device to access the Speech to Text plugin. In addition, check if your Filmora version is compatible with the plugin before downloading. Once you confirm that you meet all the requirements, here is how to use the service:

  • Launch the Filmora app on your Mac and open a new video workspace.
  • Click on the microphone symbol at the bottom right corner of the page to start recording. Tap it once again to finish the recording.
  • Tap the Tools tab on your main menu and select Speech to Text. Then, confirm your preferences and wait for the transcription.

Part5: Top 5 Dragon for Mac

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Dragon Dictate is arguably the best dictation software currently on the market. According to most users, its accuracy and feature sets are next to none. For example, the Smart Format Rules learn how you represent dates, numbers, and abbreviations, resulting in less editing work for you. The Dragon Dictate app is free to download from the Apple Store.

Dragon for Mac users reports a dictation accuracy of nearly 99%, which is excellent in the speech-to-text software category. All of Nuance's Dragon products use deep learning technology to capture your accent and cadence. As such, the app gets better at transcribing your text as you continue using it. In addition, dragon for Mac professional allows you to transcribe audio clips from uploaded files. For example, you can import audio from your iPhone to your Dragon Dictate workspace and transcribe it hassle-free.

Unfortunately, you cannot get a stand-alone dragon app for Mac. This is because Nuance discontinued its development in 2018. In addition, Microsoft's acquisition of the company in 2021 proves that the decision is permanent. However, you can still use the Windows version of Dragon through Parallels, which allows you to run macOS and Windows simultaneously. In addition, this method also works for M1 Macs.

Part6: FAQs

Is there a difference between voice recognition and speech-to-text?

Voice recognition software allows your device to capture your accent and tone and then stores that data for different functions, such as user logins and speech-to-text functionality. For example, Siri will ask you to repeat a sentence several times as one of the setup steps.

Which is the best external device for the speech-to-text service?

Most users report better speech-to-text accuracy when using headsets compared to using an external microphone. This is because the microphone is much closer to your mouth, so your voice is less affected by external noise.

Can speech-to-text apps automatically translate a transcribed text?

Yes, they can. Apps such as Google's Speech to Text include a translation feature in their functionality. However, you will need the Google Chrome browser to access Speech to text. This is because the service is only available to active google account holders.

How much faster is speech to text faster than typing?

A 2017 Stanford study states that speech to text is about three times faster than typing. In addition, it found that speech-to-text apps can transcribe over 150 words per minute, while professional transcriptionists range between 50 to 80 words per minute.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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